How We Work
After you follow the directions and Submit a Manuscript, we review it.
Our publications board starts with reading the letter and synopsis. It is worth noting that a manuscript may never be read if the synopsis and query letter are poorly written.
Then we review the actual manuscript, generally the first few chapters, and in some cases the entire work. We look for several things: Is it clean and easy to read, or does it have grammatical and style issues? Does it have a strong opening? Does it have punch, pacing and passion? How is the dialogue? Perhaps most important is the freshness of the story plot. We don’t like stale bread.
We also look closely at the authors’ bios. Have they written other books and how well have they sold? We also look carefully at the marketing plan for the book. Will they be aggressively using social media? How inviting is their website? Are they going to reach out to bloggers and do they have a list of reviewers? What about endorsement quotes?
Discussion with the Author
Next, we will generally arrange for a phone conversation with the writer or their book agent. It’s a way for us to get to know each other and decide whether the writer and Köehler Books are a good fit.
Our publications board decides whether to reject or accept the work. All authors are notified, usually within two or three weeks. Those accepted for publication receive a contract along with a letter of acceptance.
Typically at that point the agent and/or author will go over the contract and we will negotiate some points or improve/modify the language so that all parties are in agreement. The contract is a four-page document and we expect the author/agent to go over it carefully with or without an attorney. See a sample contract.
Contracts will differ slightly depending on whether it is a traditional or a co-publishing deal. Download a co-publishing info sheet
The Author’s Questionnaire is a critical document and one we ask the author to fill out right from the start. It gives us all the basic contact information, author’s bio and also marketing information. We ask you to write the back cover synopsis, the elevator speech about your book.
First we will ask that you format your work according to our Style Guide. Then one of our editors will have an initial strategic editing discussion with you about your work. They may ask you to work on some areas of the book. They may ask you to cut down the book in length. Once they start editing they will share their edits with you in MS Word using Track Changes so you can clearly see their edits and be able to speak intelligently about them. The editing process at Koehler Books is collaborative.
Proofreading is another integral part of the editing process. It may occur after the editing is done or during the layout phase.
By now we’ve already seen some of the cover styles you like and spoken to you about your cover. We want to know your thoughts. Then one of our designers will develop a few cover designs and we will share them with you. Often we have a winner right away, or we may have to develop one of the concepts further. Like editing, we decide the final design, but our goal is to always do that in agreement with the author.
This is the entire design and layout of the text. It includes the title page, the legal page, pagination, text styles. You will see it all and be part of the process.
Advanced Reader Copies
Once you have signed off on the final layout and cover, we will order the ARCs, which are finished printed ready-to-go copies. You will review them, and also begin using them to send out for reviews and endorsement quotes.
Authors may purchase ARCs for a discounted price of cost plus 30%, well below wholesale.
Marketing & Promotion
The publisher and the author must be involved with marketing and promoting the book or it will not sell well.The publisher sells to the distributors and booksellers and the author sells to the readers, bloggers and reader groups.
Book domain name purchase
Koehler Books buys a domain name related to the title, and forwards it to the book page we build on our site, or to the author’s site.
Book web page
Each title gets a stand alone web page on the KB website. It includes the cover, description, author bio and photo, an excerpt as well as buying and other optional information.
This is a comprehensive document that solicits the author for information about their title, the cover, marketing plans, description, comparative titles, etc. This information becomes the bedrock for Ingram’s Title Management System (TMS).
Title Management System (TMS)
Ingram’s TMS provides title information and graphics to booksellers and distributors. This includes descriptions, endorsement quotes, marketing plans and other information from the author’s questionnaire. Booksellers can download tip sheets and package the information in a number of ways.
Tip sheets are a comprehensive single page sheet that originate from the author’s questionnaire and are produced by Ingram’s TMS. Koehler Books modifies the information to fit on the page and adds other items. Tip sheets are invaluable for authors to send along with ARCs for endorsement quotes, and also useful when visiting booksellers.
Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs)
Each author receives at least ten ARCs after the book has been approved for distribution. Authors are urged to use them for soliciting endorsement quotes and reviews, and for their personal enjoyment. They are finished books in every way.
ARC Author Purchases
Koehler Books authors may purchase additional ARCs at any time for cost plus 30%, buying their books well under wholesale. Books may be sold for profit and also used for promotional purposes.
ARC Endorsement/Review Assistance
Koehler Books will assist authors by sending out ARCs for review and endorsements in situations where they must come from the publisher.
Ingram Catalog Inclusion
All Koehler Books titles are included (unless they are crashed to market) in one or more of Ingram’s catalogs, usually trade and/or Christian, Children, etc. Catalogs are available to booksellers online.
Koehler Books purchases ads or listings in specialty catalogs put out by Ingram, such as Black History, Military, etc.
Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) Sales Force
All Koehler Books titles are presented to the 45+ person IPS sales force via a series of pre-sales and sales meetings, remotely and in person. Initial orders are booked at both meetings by reps of major distributors and booksellers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Baker & Taylor and many other major and minor buyers. Throughout the pre and post sales period of the titles, the team is available to assist with issues such as book tours and other needs.
Media Releases and Posts
Koehler Books issues a series of releases and posts using their website as the primary source, and simultaneously releasing on FaceBook and Twitter.
Vote the Cover Campaigns
Koehler Books will post a VOTE THE COVER poll on our website to get the pulse on two opposing covers. While this is not used as the primary method of deciding a cover, it can show trends and provide valuable insights as well as stir interest in the title. You may in fact see one of these on the site now.
Marketing Mastermind Calls
Working with Morgan James Publishing’s bestselling authors David Hancock and Rick Frishman (founder and publisher respectively), authors participate in a series of calls that will coach them on guerrilla marketing techniques for promoting their title.
• The author builds and maintain a website
• The author develops a coordinated social media plan that includes Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, blogs as an example
• The author sends out ARCs for review and endorsement quotes
• The author sets up talks, signings and events
• The author contacts blogs, book clubs, and other groups
We provide national print distribution through our relationship with Ingram and IPS. Their sales team of more than forty reps work with the major book distributors and booksellers and present our titles to them. All of our titles are available online for pre-sales prior to launch. Based on those sales and estimations from IPS and our team, we print books to put in inventory so they’re immediately available when the book is released in stores.
How to Order Köehler Books titles from Ingram
Ingram Publisher Services (IPS) accepts orders a variety of ways, including Ingram’s ordering tools
ipage®, phone, fax, and e-mail. Terms on IPS orders are the same regardless of the ordering method.
Phone: (866) 400-5351
Fax: (800) 838-1149
The customer service hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST
ACCESS (automated stock checking and ordering line): (800) 961-8031